For the past eight years, my number one companion has been Marty, my 10-year-old toy poodle. He’s been with me through several boyfriends as well as one big cross-country move (to California and back). Together we’ve played, we’ve cried (he likes to lick my tears), we’ve slept in on lazy Saturdays and endured many a thunderstorm (he hates those). I think we can learn a lot from a dog.
While he has a long memory, he’s got a very short attention span when it comes to being upset. He gets over things. He’s definitely not a grudge holder. Animals, unlike humans, innately trust their instincts. We let too much ‘thinking’ and second-guessing get in the way. But Marty reacts based on instinct and he’s usually right. He can tell when that dreaded thunderstorm is coming before I have a clue. He knows when I’m upset and is ready with a lick to comfort me.
Before Marty, I could get up and be out of the house (dressed, hair done and full make-up) in 15 minutes flat. Not so much with a dog. The concept of late just doesn’t occur to him. I can rush like gangbusters but time slows down when I have to walk him. He just refuses to rush!
What I like best about him though is that he’s an automatic mood lifter. A hard day or a sad moment becomes a little bit better when he’s around. He’s there with a sympathetic ear (and a head tilt that makes you think he really does understand) or to lick a tear away. He’s always up for a quick game or just to sit on your lap and let you pet him. After 5 minutes with Marty, you will feel better! It’s guaranteed.
His unabashed love and affection are contagious. The groomer refers to him as her ‘boyfriend’ and he arrives at the vet to a chorus of greetings from the vet assistants. In fact, my friend Cindy refers to him as America’s Favorite Pooch.
Life is hard and filled with twists and turns and disappointments. But with a Marty in my corner, somehow I know I’ll get through it all. Everyone should be so lucky.